Time for another selection of books that I am sure will make perfect gifts for your family and friends. The first short story collection is one that I can recommend as I read and reviewed last year. Donkey Boy & other Stories by Mary Smith is wonderful. You can read more about Mary on her Blog and follow her on Twitter @marysmithwriter
About the collection
Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with a frightening gift – or curse.
One of the reviews for the collection
This is a fascinating collection of short stories, set in various places with a wealth of diverse characters, all wonderfully rounded. The author has a talent for setting the scene and giving a sense of place with few well-chosen words.
I read each of these unusual stories slowly, taking in the way each situation unfolded, savouring the reactions of the characters to each problem they faced, enjoying the touches of humour, poignancy, empathising with the great sadness in some of the tales.
Not sure I had an overall favourite, they are all easy to read, but these are the ones that stayed with me long after I’d read them:
The story in the title, Donkey Boy. The protagonist, Ali, should be in school but instead drives a donkey cart for his father. His resentment is palpable from the very start. The dilemma he faces exposes the way different cultures live; not only their values and ethics but the differences in the child and adult in these societies. This is well deserving as the title story.
Trouble with Socks. Set in a care home with the character George; patronised by one of the carers who really is in the wrong job.
Accidents Happen. Set in Pakistan; the story of a young girl with a step father she detests.
Asylum Seekers. One of the monologues (I did like this way of writing/reading a short story). Though ironic, this reveals unpleasant bigotry and prejudice,
There is a whole gamut of human emotions in Donkey Boy and Other Stories and I thoroughly recommend this collection by Mary Smith to any reader. Whatever your favourite genre you’ll be sure to find one that will linger with you long afterwards.
Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075VC1XNX
and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VC1XNX/
A selection of other books by Mary Smith
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith
Connect to Mary Smith via her blog: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/about/
About The Story Teller Speaks
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?
In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.
One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary.
Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.
The Storyteller Speaks is an electric collection of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry that makes for an entertaining read. These stories cover a wide range of situations such as love, murder, revenge, misadventures, injustices and grief.
The author bares her soul and grief over the loss of her Morfar and Mormor in the story, “Loss of a Patriarch.” She keeps the readers on edge and guessing until the end of some of the stories as in “Sofia.” She has an innate ability to use her words sparingly and dribble out little clues to keep the reader hanging on her every word until the end of the stories.
At the back of the book the author shares her inspiration for each story. It’s evident that she uses daily experiences in her life to create intriguing and fascinating tales.
This is a commendable beginning book for this talented author who will be one to watch for future books
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/
and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8
Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry
Connect to Annika via her blog: https://annikaperry.com
My next short story collection is Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts who is also well known for his very helpful blogging tips and support of other authors. You can find out more about Hugh on his Blog and follow him on Twitter @HughRoberts05
About the collection
After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who is dyslexic, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.
Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a roller coaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.
‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.
If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you are in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.
Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?
One of the reviews for the collection
I found Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts to be quite a unique book. It is a collection of short stories, mainly written along a supernatural theme. I am a great lover of supernatural and horror books and have been avidly reading Stephen King since I was ten years old, so this was right up my street. I had two absolute favourite stories/groupings of stories in this lovely book. My outright favourite was The Truth App which I read twice. It is a collection of a few short stories all in the same theme and it really “creeped” me out. Maybe I identified with it so much because it is all about blogging and bloggers which is a world in which I have recently become very immersed. I must say that I had to stop reading this tale in the evenings because it was giving me bad dreams. My advice to bloggers and other readers of this book, be careful what apps you choose to download!
My other outright winner was a short story about a woman who goes to India to have eye and dental treatment. This one stayed firmly in my mind because it made me reflect on the fact that, even if you read the completely incomprehensible list of ingredients on cosmetic and facial and other products, one rarely has any idea of what really goes into that cream that you are liberally apply all over your face. It also summoned up horrible thoughts of articles that I have read recently about testing medications and products on animals. A story that can make you think like that has got to be superb.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B01N757S3P
And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP
Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts
Connect to Hugh via his website: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/
Thank you for popping in and I hope that you have enjoyed the selection of short story collections that would make great Christmas gifts.. thanks Sally